Tag Archives: home

Hi. I think I’m back… again

hi

Funny how something that is so good for you can sometimes be the thing you avoid the most. Think leafy greens, exercise and getting enough sleep.

Or, in this case, blogging.

This used to be the place I went everyday to share. Stupid stuff, fun stuff, not so fun stuff… time to cry stuff. It grounded me. It was my constant. It was the receptacle for all things Amy. The good, the bad and the ugly.

I have tried to come back here more than once, but I guess I just was not ready.

Funny thing is that I still think in blog posts (and t-shirt quotes). Things will happen, I will see stories that I have plenty of commentary on. But committing fingers to keyboard has been a tough one. The worst part is the hundreds of ridiculous photos I have taken and never shared. Or shared briefly on instagram without my warped analysis.

What has changed? I am hitting a milestone. One that has me simultaneously more rocked and infinitely more grounded than I expected. So it seems as a good time as any to try to commit again. It is all part of the package of time to ground.

To write.

To make you laugh.

And cry.

Because when you don’t have the time, is when you need to make it the most.

Sometimes you need to go home again. Whatever home means.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – You can’t go home again

540

Cleaning my office the first day back from the holidays, this picture fell out of a file folder onto my keyboard.

The Big 540… my childhood home.

The same house that we sold a few months ago. The process of selling was rather unpleasant, the details remaining unwritten. Use your imagination if you do not know the details. The process of dismantling it was long and arduous, as my parents had lived there for 60 years. But it was a labor of love. By the time we signed on the dotted line it was more of a relief than anything else.

Oddly, a few weeks after closing I had the most bizarre dream. I was showering in my parents’ bathroom and suddenly realized that we no longer owned the house (oops). Yep, wrapped in a towel in someone else’s bathroom and they walked in the back door. The classic version of the ‘I forgot to study for the test’ dream.

A few weeks later I had another dream that I was hanging out in the house and all of the new owners’ relatives started showing up with furniture and started yelling at me and threatening to call the cops. Again, I had forgotten that this was no longer ‘our house’ (yes, I am way crazier than I let on).

I don’t have to be a therapist to know that the loss of this house is obviously effecting me more than I realized. I have never lived without this home – quite something for someone of ‘my age’. This is where I grew up, where the family gathered, where my mom planted. And planted. And planted. Where my history lived in the walls. And although my current home has been in my life almost half as long as this one has, there is something unnerving about losing this place.

I know ‘home’ is not the building. And Lord knows I have brought enough of the stuff from that house here (anyone want to help me go through 14 crates of photos). It is hard to explain how I feel.

Maybe it is simply the knowledge that I can’t go home again.

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Filed under aging parents, grief, homeowner, loss, real estate, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – On Doors Closing and Opening

doors

I always loved the phrase: When one door closes another one opens.

Last week I experienced an uber (no, not that Uber) example of those proverbial doors. I tried my very best to keep my emotions under the drama bar and go with the flow. This, by the way, does nothing more than exhaust you beyond description and is simply a control freak’s illusion, but I seem most comfortable in this state.

As with most of my life, the sequence of my doors were reversed. But this saying made for a nice thread for this post, so let’s go with it.

On Thursday, a door opened. Big time. The one to my daughter Jana’s new apartment. The apartment that she will be sharing with the love of her life – the young man who she has spent many long years waiting to live in the same city with, let alone under the same roof. In reality, the door to this apartment made it a challenge to get a queen-sized box spring through it and up the stairs to her bedroom, but this was the small stuff. (Rectified, btw, by sofasurgery.com. Quick plug for an amazing service that solved the problem in less than 2 hours from call to completion).

The opening of this door was one to the beginning of a wonderful life together and the joy I feel for them is beyond description. (And contrary to those who question this, his mother and I will not be living with them)

On Friday, a door closed. Big time. After many months of listings, contracts, deals, stops and starts, boiler and oil tank replacements, clean-outs, boxes, yards of bubble wrap, sorting, reminiscing, sales, dumpsters, tears, laughs, one broken toe and one tennis/schlepping elbow… we closed on the sale of my childhood home. With each stage of this process, no matter how much stuff we took out of this house, it still felt like the home of my childhood. My family is embedded in the walls of this place. Even that very last day, the one when the house was completely empty except for the bottle of Stoli in the freezer that we toasted one last time to my mom with, we could not help but feel that she would somehow come walking out of that kitchen.

The closing of this door? Well it certainly carries with it a bag of mixed emotions. I walked out of that closing (both the real estate deal and the door) with an odd sense of calm coupled with an overwhelming exhaustion. I certainly have said my goodbyes to that house, that life, that anchor. I am happy to be rid of the process. But there is a lingering phantom pain surrounding never being able to ‘go home again’.

Ok, so maybe I crossed over the drama bar for a moment.

The net of all this (other than my overuse of cliché and devices)? I am a women who loves signs and juxtapositions. I thrive on the meant to be and the alignment of stars. To close on 10.10 at 10am at 1010 Northern Blvd. rang that bell big time. And it was my grandfather’s birthday to boot.

But nothing rang the bell more than the site of my girl in her beginning as I was tying up an ending.

One door opens and another one closes… maybe it is ok to reverse that saying, after all.

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Filed under aging parents, childhood, cliches, doors, family, sentimentalites

Time to Cry Tuesday – No Time

This one always kills me. It is halfway through Tuesday and I realize that I have not posted my most sacred post of the week. I have been blogging for four years now (crazy, right?) and Tuesdays have always been the days I stop and smell the roses, the coffee, or maybe even the not so clean sponge that I can smell from the garage as I walk in the house. It is the day I have vowed to myself to always take stock and find something that touches me. A little break in the crazy week that makes me present.

And here I am, at 1PM on Tuesday and I realize I forgot to do this last night.

So today’s post is about time. And how we get caught up in how important we are. How our to-do list is sometimes magnified to the point of absurdity. When you break your own rule for taking a moment, it is not the end of the world for anyone else but yourself.

Better late than never; here is my list of things that made me grateful this week. The things  that made me feel like me:

1. My very first peony of the season. When I left the house that morning it was a bud, when I came home it was in full bloom. And it was the only one in the gar den.

2. Planting for my mom. This was a bittersweet task because as much as she loved me doing it she wished she could do it herself. She told me she remembered doing it for her mom and I told her I was screwed because Jana did not like to garden.

3. Puppy on the beach. You can never beat this one, even after she chewed THREE pair of prescription sunglasses in one week.

4. Son home for 36 hours. Hopefully when he returns from his little post-finals excursion we will get a little more of him. A lot more would be asking the impossible.

5. Full house Sunday dinner with dear friends and all 4 of our kids… a true rarity and a gift indeed.

With the holiday weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, I vow to try to chill when I can.

And just BE.

 

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Time to Cry Tuesday – My Spot (one year later)

Last year on February 22nd, I wrote this post. If you are not inclined to go back and read it, the short version is that there is a spot in my house that is my perfect place. I am sure many of you have one just like it. The place you go to read, to rest, for comfort, to chill. YOUR spot. Sometimes it comes with a cup of tea and others it needs a glass of wine. And when things get really hectic, a vodka on the rocks goes perfectly.

Needless to say I have clocked many an hour there. What always made that spot one step more special was having my dog at my feet. For those who don’t know, I lost my dog Mel at 12.5 this past October. I was completely devastated and lost without her. Thinking I would never be able to do it all over again with a puppy at this stage of my life I soon proved myself wrong.

We were lucky enough for the stars to be aligned and not long after we lost her, Iko came into our lives.

And wouldn’t you know it, that puppy just KNEW where  she needed to hang.

She is freakishly Mel-like in this shot, but oh so welcome. I am sure the essence of Mel lured her there. This is not the only spot of Mel’s that she has taken as her own.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of my old girl. Somehow this makes it both much harder and infinitely easier.

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Filed under animals, Iko, mel, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time To Cry Tuesday – You Don’t Want the Chicken

I live in a wonderful community, one where people come out of the woodwork to rise to the occasion and come to the aid of anyone in need. I have been on both sides of this practice and let me tell you, being the receiver of this kindness is a lot more difficult.

When a family is in a crisis of any kind – usually health or loss – our community springs into action and gets things done… in a big way. Dinners are sent in, carpools are covered, birthday gifts are wrapped and rides to parties and after school activities are covered. This army of giving jumps into action at a moment’s notice and no one bats an eye at getting the job done.

I have a friend who is currently in this place right now. We have the best job of all, we get to dog sit during the day while she goes to work. Talk about reciprocal giving! (for those who are not regular readers, we lost our dog a month ago and cannot get used to a dogless house). She and I were sitting in my kitchen yesterday talking about how overwhelming it is to receive such kindness. My first thought was about the chicken dinner on Friday nights. In the Jewish faith, a friday night – or Shabbat dinner, usually showcases a chicken. Jews feed for comfort and there is nothing more comforting than a roast chicken dinner.

As she voiced how difficult it is to take in all this kindness when you are a relatively private and self sufficient family, it came to me…

You don’t want to be the one that gets the chicken!

Giving the chicken is cool. Making the chicken is wonderful. Dropping off the chicken feels so good because there is so little you can do to help someone close to you who is suffering. But GETTING the chicken? Oy, that is the ultimate admission that you are in a time of need; a time of crisis.

I am thinking that the damn chicken might have been the thing that broke me in my darkest hours.

Anyone else get that?

But in all seriousness, there is never a day that goes by that I am not grateful for what this town has shown it can do for its own; and making it look so easy in the process. It is a very special place indeed.

FYI, this family has used a wonderful website called lotsahelpinghands to help manage their needs. I urge you to check this out, while I hope that you never need to use it. Their tagline is ‘Create Community’; in our case it is simply ‘Enhance Community’.

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Filed under communities, family, friendship, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Sugar Magnolia

” Sugar magnolia, blossoms blooming, heads all empty and I don’t care…”

It was that kind of day, right? Well, here in NY it was, anyway. Topping out in the 70s it was one of those early days of spring where the buds are starting to burst out into flower and you can just feel the universe shift towards gentler days. When the air has that essence of earth and growth and all that damn snow is simply a memory.

That would be, of course, if you were not tethered to the basement! Have no fear, I found a way to sneak a little of it in. Take in the mail, let out the dog, stand on the front stoop, you know… commuting for those of us who work at home. On one of these little mental health breaks I noticed my prized magnolia was starting to bloom. It’s not that this tree looks so spectacular, it is the fact that it survived at all that makes it so impressive.

Some years back, this tree died. It made me sad because it was the very tree that I would hang all the kids’ projects in when they were little. Bird feeders, wind chimes, charming little paper plates & tongue depressor mobiles slathered with tempera paint that simply had to hang proudly in front of the house for all to see. This tree had a real personality and the perfect branch from which to hang all these treasures. When it died it felt like it took the ghosts of all those sweet memories with it.

Last year I looked at the ground and saw that a shoot of the tree had started to sprout from the root ball. This season it looks like it will most probably be more of a bush than a tree, but it is flowering nonetheless. And it has a mentor across the lawn; a pear tree that was taken down by a falling willow years ago and grew back to twice its original size.

You could say this little section of the front lawn is a lot like I am…

stubborn as hell? I was thinking more a survivor – but yes – probably both.

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Filed under gardening, Time to Cry Tuesdays